Welcome to Trinity Academy’s best-kept secret.
You’ve been handpicked by the elite of the elite to become a member. But first you’ll have to prove your worth by making it through Hell Week.
Do you have what it takes?
It’s time to find out.
Samantha Evans knows she’d never get an invite to rush the Societynot after her dad went to jail for insider trading. But after years of relentless bullying at the hands of the Society’s queen bee, Jessica, she’s ready to take down Jessica and the Society one peg at a time from the inside out.
All it’ll take is a bit of computer hacking, a few fake invitations, some eager rushees…and Sam will get her revenge.
Let the games begin.
|Publisher:||Entangled Publishing, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.00(d)|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Jodie received her B.S. in Secondary Education-English from Penn State University and taught for several years before turning to her first love-writing. She's been a contracted feature writer on multiple websites, and is a submissions intern at a publishing house. She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania with her daughter. She adores desserts, will fight you for the last cup of coffee, and devours as many books as she can get her hands on in her free time. Find her online at www.jodieandrefski.net.
Read an Excerpt
By Jodie Andrefski, Alethea Spiridon
Entangled Publishing, LLCCopyright © 2016 Jodie Andrefski
All rights reserved.
All things truly wicked start from innocence.
— Ernest Hemingway
My life changed forever exactly three years, two months, and seventeen days ago. Back then I still believed all people possessed redeeming qualities. Even myself. Talk about naive.
No thirteen-year-old should ever have to sit in a courtroom, scared and silent, waiting to hear if her father's going to jail. But nevertheless, there I was. My hands curled into tight fists against the lap of my skirt, nails digging small crescent moons in my sweaty palms.
I glanced over to where Jessica and her father sat in the row behind the prosecuting attorney. She must have felt my gaze, because she turned around and stared at me. I held my breath, praying I'd see sympathy for the situation, or remorse for what she'd done. Instead, the look she gave me was that of a stranger; she pursed her lips like she was biting a lemon and turned to face the front again. Her blow-off crushed me, although I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise.
Tears streaked down my face as I waited to hear the verdict. I couldn't remember ever feeling that scared in my life.
"Samantha, stop fidgeting." They were the first words my mother spoke all day. She didn't even bother looking at me as she issued her directive, her face a cold marble statue as she stared straight ahead. I forced myself to sit still and wondered what the jury would say. Feared what fate would throw at my dad, at my whole family.
I wasn't sure if Dad had actually done it or not. To tell the truth, I hadn't wanted to ask, although deep down amid memories of my parents shouting and my mother's tearful accusations, I'd known they were telling the truth. That he'd chosen greed over his family. Over me.
Once upon a time, I'd been a normal kid, one who hadn't even heard the term insider trading, let alone associated it with my father. But that was nothing compared to the "terroristic threats" charge the prosecution had also tacked on.
Maybe Dad had threatened the life of Jessica's father, but it wasn't like he would've actually followed through with it. My father had only been scared that Mr. Wainright was going to turn him in for the insider trading stuff — turned out he'd been right. But that didn't make a difference to Jessica. I was dead to her now.
And to think just five short months ago I'd been so excited to be leaving Trinity Junior Academy, ready to begin my big adventure as an official high school student. My euphoria hadn't lasted long, everything changed the day of my junior high graduation.
I was no longer the innocent, laughing girl who had friends and a real family. I could barely even remember what she'd been like. Remembering that day was like watching old home movies, the kind that you know must have happened because you see them on the screen, but you can't remember what it felt like to live it.
I'd sat waiting for the final bell to ring and glanced over at Jessica in the wooden desk next to me. She grinned and mouthed, "Ready, Sam?"
Like usual, I took my cues from her. Then again, so did most of the girls in our eighth grade class. But I didn't mind. She was more than a best friend to me; she was my soul sister. We shared secrets and planned to grow up and marry brothers and live in gorgeous houses next to each other in some exotic city far away.
One night when we were only ten, we'd gotten brave — or stupid — during a sleepover at her house and used a sewing needle to prick our fingers. We'd rubbed the tiny droplets of blood against each other's finger and sworn to remain friends forever.
We'd planned the best end of year prank ever for our last day of eighth grade. It was tradition to try to outdo the class before, and we'd nailed it. Of course, we had the perk of having some of the smartest kids in school help orchestrate the whole thing.
I covered my mouth to hide my giggle before turning my head to peek at Jeremy sitting behind me. He'd been another one of my best friends as long as I could remember. His hazel eyes twinkled as he caught my gaze, and he offered me an almost imperceptible nod.
Just as the dismissal bell began to ring, Jeremy reached inside his desk. My stomach did crazy little flip-flops, and I fought to hide my excited grin. Music blared from the built-in wall speakers used for school announcements. Mr. Mangelli looked up, aghast, as the opening beats of Nicki Minaj's "Super Bass" — the unedited version — shook the hallowed walls of our too-snobby-to-rock school.
On cue, all of the girls in the room pulled identical hot pink wigs from their desks and slapped them on their heads as artificial snow and shimmery glitter burst from a contraption rigged in the back of the classroom.
Mr. Mangelli's eyes bulged, and his mouth flapped like a fish trying to suck air. He burst from his desk chair, hands shaking, pointing around the room. "What is the meaning of this? I demand you stop this foolishness this instant." It was a bit difficult to take him seriously given he had glitter hanging from his moustache and had to keep wiping Styrofoam snow from his lips.
Of course, we ignored him. Sounds of cheering and clapping carried from the adjoining classrooms. A few brave students hovered at our homeroom door as they passed, peeking in and laughing when they saw the thirty of us in the room now standing and gyrating to the boom badoom boom. Jessica, always the leader, actually stood on her desk. Mr. Mangelli turned apoplectic.
"Get down from there right now!"
She blew him a kiss. I lost it. I grabbed her hand to pull her down, laughing hysterically. Jeremy's arm snaked around my shoulders in a quick hug, and he leaned in close to whisper, "Score. We did it." I turned, and my smile widened, including him in the moment.
Jer and his friend Pete were the brains behind the whole thing. Building the machine to shoot the snow and glitter when Jeremy pressed the button had taken them several weeks in Pete's garage, but they did it, it worked just like we'd planned.
I grabbed my backpack from the floor, and the three of us raced hand in hand out of the classroom, ignoring our teacher's shouted threats about this going on our permanent academic record. Really, what would it say? We made it snow in class? I wasn't worried; the school administration pretty much expected something like it on the last day of classes each year.
My heart raced in exhilaration as we ran together down the wide hallway toward the double doors that led to freedom. Summer vacation with the best friends in the world waited just ten feet away. Life was good.
I was still glowing twenty minutes later when I got home. Like usual, Jessica's mom had given me a ride, and Jess promised to come over early the next day to help decorate for my graduation party. I pushed open the front door and walked in.
"Mom, I'm home!" I tossed my bag on the stone landing and looked around when I didn't hear her usual cheery, "Hey, honey," welcoming me.
"Mom?" I called again, a little louder this time. It didn't seem like anyone was around. Granted, Dad didn't usually get home until after seven. He worked long hours with his job as a stockbroker on Wall Street. But I guess I kind of expected more of an excited scene walking in. My parent's usual go-overboard style should have dictated balloons and champagne, or something.
I trudged up the stairs to my room, still humming "Super Bass." I reached back to untwist my braid and shook my head when my long dark hair was finally freed. Just as I reached the landing at the top of the stairs, a muted voice carried from the end of the hall, from my parents' room.
"I cannot believe you would do this! What were you thinking?"
Mom had to be on the phone with one of her friends, though I'd never heard her sound like that, so bitter and furious. Curious, I crept closer, taking care to tiptoe as quietly as I could. Whatever she was talking about, it was probably a safe bet I wasn't meant to hear the conversation; maybe I'd get some juicy gossip I could share with my friends later. I giggled.
"Goddammit, Claire! It just happened. I ... I don't know what you want me to fucking say."
My hand covered my mouth. That was my father's voice, but Dad never cursed at Mom; he always said that kind of language showed poor breeding and lack of intellect. And besides, my parents rarely argued, and even when they did, it wasn't like this, so heated. It was normally about where to go on vacation, or my Dad forgetting to pick up milk on his way home.
I crept closer to their closed door, determined to find out what had gotten them both so worked up. I couldn't even imagine my dad doing anything to make my mom that mad. He was my hero. He worked hard, and yet he still always made time to spend time with me: going to the skating rink or taking me to my horseback riding lessons. I think it bothered my mom that he and I had always had a special bond, one that she and I didn't share.
A loud crash sounded against the opposite side of the door, and I jerked my head back in shock and mounting fear; my stomach twisted and tears sprang to my eyes. I turned and slipped into my room across the hall and locked the bedroom door behind me with a firm click.
My hands shook as I crossed my large, pale lavender room and sat on the bed that was positioned between two chiffon-covered windows. A shadow fell across my previously bright and cheery room as storm clouds covered the sun outside my window. Somewhere deep inside, I was afraid of what was to come.
Little did I know at the time just how right I was to be scared.
I shook my head like that would get rid of the memories. I didn't need to relive one of the worst days of my life, not now, not when a jury of twelve strangers deliberated my father's fate. The knots in my stomach tightened until I was sure the pain would cause me to pass out. I looked to my mom for something — an encouraging smile, a squeeze of her hand. I got neither.
As soon as the jury foreman stood up, steely eyes and disapproving glare sent in my father's direction, I knew it was all over. Life as I'd known it up until that moment was gone. Poof. Like the flame on a birthday candle extinguished forever. Only I didn't get a wish this time.
My mother said nothing as the uniformed guard led my dad out of the courtroom in his orange jumpsuit, hands shackled together, making a clanging noise with each of his shuffling footsteps. Just as he was about to walk through the door that would lead him to the next ten years of his life, away from me, he looked up. His face looked tired, like he'd given up. His cheeks were more sunken in than they used to be, and his shoulders slumped.
I waited for him to say something, to call out that he loved me and it was all a big mistake. I jumped up from my seat, leaned forward against the bench in front of me, tears rolling unabated down my face. But after a heartbeat that lasted forever, he dropped his gaze and turned and walked through the door.
"Samantha, it's time to go." My mother's voice was cool, detached. I looked up at her incredulously. Her expression hardened when she saw I was crying. "Wipe your face. We'll go out the side entrance so we don't have to deal with the press. I'm late for a meeting." No hugs, no comforting words. I did as I was told and silently shadowed her out of the courtroom.
Watching my mother's straight back as she marched two feet ahead in her charcoal suit, something in me changed. The carefree girl I'd been on my last day of junior high was gone, life as I'd known it was over. Even at thirteen, I was smart enough to realize everything would change.
Turned out, I was right.CHAPTER 2
If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
— William Shakespeare
I pushed through the heavy oak doors leading into Trinity Academy, ignoring the groups of students milling around the wide steps of the ornate brick building. Not like it mattered. They were all busy talking, laughing, and fist-bumping each other, mostly jocks and their adoring fans, none of whom I had the time or interest to speak with.
"Out of my way."
Bren Fessler — bedazzled toady to my ex-best friend Jessica — shoved past, leaving me gagging from lingering fumes of eau de bitch. I rolled my eyes, hacked through the last of the stench, and headed toward my locker.
Trinity was founded like a hundred years ago, and if buildings really do have a personality, this one had the snooty air of old money. I mean, it was a beautiful campus; it just sucked that I couldn't stand the majority of the kids who went there anymore. But since Trinity had a stellar academic program that looked great on college applications, I'd remained, even after everything that happened. Besides, my creative writing teacher, Ms. Kemper, had pretty much assured me a shining recommendation to Columbia, her alma mater. I think she felt sorry for me. So I stayed. I wasn't about to blow my chance at getting into my dream school even if everything around me sucked.
As I neared my locker, five or six members of the golden crew sashayed in a little blond bubble across from me, confident toothy smiles all over their faces. Since it was the start of Rush week, they were probably all certain they'd find a typed note covertly slipped through one of the vents in their locker, an invitation to rush our high school's hallowed cloak-and-dagger Musterian Society.
Even the name sounded decayed, like a musty blanket you'd find rotting in your grandmother's attic. I'd looked it up once. Musterian. Turns out it's Greek for "a mystery confided only to the initiated and not to ordinary mortals."
There would obviously be no note in my locker. I was way too ordinary, and mortal was putting it mildly. My hair wasn't blond and shiny enough. I didn't prance around in a cutesy little uniform with TA emblazoned across my not-quite-big-enough boobs.
The cheerleaders seemed to miss what just about everyone else recognized. The irony in the fact that our school's initials also stood for a completely different phrase. Then again, they'd probably be just as proud to wear the label, Tits and Ass. Yet these Einsteins were usually the ones chosen to pledge, at least to meet the female initiates quota.
Just about every kid at school dreamed of being invited to rush. Invitation to the Society wasn't only a guaranteed boost to your social standing, although that was a given. No, being in the Society offered even more tangible, life-changing perks. It pretty much guaranteed acceptance to the college of your choice — past members served on the admissions boards of some of the best schools in the country. Dream jobs tended to follow. The Society members helped their own.
We weren't supposed to know all that, but it didn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out when you saw school acceptance letters roll in. The Society was a who's who of the in crowd, guaranteeing a life we all fantasize about.
They didn't ask people like me to join. I wasn't coolenough, at least not anymore.
Steps away from my locker, the golden crew parted like the Red Sea. Whispers and giggles engulfed me — dark as smoke, and just as acrid.
"Oh my God, it's perfect."
"... her expression."
I tried to ignore them, just another day in Trinity paradise.
Until I saw it.
I stopped short and sucked in a breath. She'd gone too far this time. Heat burned my cheeks as I stared straight ahead.
Several black stripes made to resemble bars, drawn with what looked like thick Magic Marker, ran vertically from the top of my locker to the very bottom. A crude stick figure of a prisoner filled the center, with my yearbook photo pasted on as the face. In what I'm sure they felt was a clever play on words on our school's Musterian Society, they'd scribbled the words "Convict Society" above my photo.
I fought to hide my burning anger and embarrassment. Jessica. She'd taunted me on an almost obsessive basis since the trial three years ago. Jessica needed to prove she was done with me, that way none of the other kids would think she'd fallen from her Queen Bee pedestal and deigned to socialize with a convict's daughter.
Excerpted from The Society by Jodie Andrefski, Alethea Spiridon. Copyright © 2016 Jodie Andrefski. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Put-downs are painful... and how you cope can be equally painful. Fast paced story about choices from the perspective of a bullied girl. Bingaux
Teen bullying has become more widely talked about in the last few years than ever before, rightfully so, and many young adult novels have focused on the topic. This is a good thing because it helps shine a light on a serious problem but making such novels fresh and different has come to be more difficult as time goes by. It's similar to some other book themes that seem to lose their punch as too many authors and publishers jump on the bandwagon, Sam has suffered at the hands of a former friend, Jessica, and Jessica's treatment of Sam can't be justified in any way even though the reason behind it is understandable. Sam's eventual decision to take revenge, on Jessica and on the school's higher society, is at the core of the problem for me because, to my mind, Sam becomes every bit as mean-spirited and unlikeable as Jessica. The Society is well-written, don't get me wrong, but I had trouble empathizing with Sam once she set out on this path to get even although I fully understand the realities of human nature and the desire to get back at the people who've hurt us. Although I think this is a good book, I just didn't quite connect with Sam or her story but I think many other readers will.
So I’ll be completely honest when I initially read the synopsis and seen the cover I was more than confident the story was going to take a quite different turn.Truthfully I lead myself to believe the Society was going to be a Pretty Little Liars meet Person of Interest, but it was more so along the lines of Revenge. Despite my preconception I enjoyed the world Jodie created. As far as the characters ehhh, they brought emotions out of me so I guess that was a positive thing. Samantha Evans like most young teenagers life is great and so are her friends, this girl was on a personable high. Like most highs at some point you have to come down and it almost happened overnight. She lost her best friend and her father was sent to jail with the assistance of that said friend. On top of all that her mother abandoned her and her ex best friend, Jessica started to humiliate and degrade her every moment she had. At some point Samantha had enough and decided to seek some revenge. On paper the plan sounded fair and just. It didn’t take long for the plan to take over her life and that’s when her obsession to make horrible choices began to set in. Hooking up with a strange boy she didn’t know.I wanted to scream do you know how do you know this kid? Is he safe? Things just started to take a downward spiral. Grades started to failed. Even risked losing her only friend Jeremy. As things began to progress her attitude became more whining and she developed more excuses to justify her reason for getting other people involved with her psychological brawl with Jessica. The Society is told solely from Samantha’s POV which is normally not my fave, but Jodie’s writing style made it all things bearable. The events take took place seem quite realistic and made me appreciate that I’m no longer in high school. The ending didn’t feel quite complete I felt like Sam and Jessica needed a face to face to resolve their issues with each other. Overall, a nice read.
As an adult reading The Society, I'd give it 4 solid stars. Thinking back to my reading tastes as a young adult, The Society would have hit all of my favorite notes: thrilling pacing, mild romantic triangle to keep me turning the pages, & friendship troubles. I believe most young adults would give the novel 5 stars. I was hooked on page one with the introduction 3 years in the past as a 13-year-old girl deals with her father's trial, the loss of her best friend turned enemy, & the abandonment of her mother. This gave me the feels, & had me flipping the pages into the present time. This was a very moral novel beneath the surface, showing both why good people do good & bad acts, & why bad people do both good & bad acts, & how there is a very thin line separating the two. Even justified in your actions, the results may be more than you bargained for, more for everyone involved. Frustrating was the core feeling I had for Sam/Samantha while reading The Society. After not only losing her best friend, she has to suffer at the hands of the person who should have had her back after her life incinerated. Jessica not only bullied Sam, she turned the entire school away from her. In reality, this is realistic. Fed up, Sam seeks not vengeance but revenge, & there is a difference. I won't give out details, as I feel that would do a disservice to readers. But there were a few points in the book that I would have liked addressed. The moral of the story was incredible, taking responsibility for your actions without using projection. (So & so did it too, but they didn't get in trouble so I shouldn't either. Yes, you should. But actions should be taken so the rest take responsibility as well.) BUT after three years of bullying, I would have liked to see some justice for Sam, some closure dealing with her father/Jessica/Trinity. Everyone failed Sam, including the school, Jeremy, & the aunt, with no one stepping in to STOP the bullying that was so prevalent. In fact, her bully was made out to be the victim. I understand taking responsibility for your actions, & not allowing someone to lower you to act as they do. Sam went from ignored victim to criminal, where all the victimizers were labeled & shown as innocent victims, all of whom had a major hand in changing who Sam was at her core. Everyone knew it was happening, saw it was happening, but just told Sam to deal with it & wait to get to college. I would have liked to see some outrage in Sam toward those who were meant to protect her. The only life ever ruined on the pages of The Society was Sam, from start to finish, with only Sam ever taking responsibility for her actions. Even the BFF/love interest was cowardly by never telling Sam how he felt, leaving it to Sam to figure it out, while he flirted with others. To be fair, there was Ransom, but there would have never been a Ransom if Jeremy would have spoken up. Such as taking her to a party, where both were excited to be with one another again, only to leave her the entire night after going to get her a drink (he never did bring her that drink), completely forgetting about Sam. It was written Sam was Jeremy's focus, yet he lost focus too often for me to buy the epilogue. Kudos to the author for showing Sam's empowerment even when at the lowest of the lows. I just wish someone in the cast of characters would have shown similar growth/responsibility/redemption/courage/protection/non-judgmental attitude/Self-reflection. Full review @ goo.gl/Ew0Bw4
A quick read about the damage that holding grudges and seeking revenge can do to yourself and others. Sam wasn't always a sympathetic character--there were times that I did feel very badly for her, with her horrible family situation and the extreme bullying she has to endure at school from her ex-best friend, but then at other times she began to take things a bit too far and didn't know when to say when. Her moral compass definitely went off kilter, and I just wanted to give her a good shake to snap her out of it. Fortunately, she pulls herself back away from the edge at the end and definitely learns a valuable lesson...and the Society is defunct at last. Or is it...? Jeremy was a great best friend to her throughout and tried to be the voice of reason, though he didn't always have much success. He added much to the story, though, not the least of which was a sweet friends-to-maybe-lovers subplot, with only a few minor detours. We are left with a few loose-ish ends at the novel's conclusion--does Jessica ever accept Sam's apology? Does Sam reconcile with her dad? Is Aunt Loretta's medical issue finally cured?--that I was fairly content with imagining happy outcomes for, because that's what I do :) I really liked the variety of quotes that the author started each chapter with--it was a fun touch, and really set the scene for the upcoming section. Overall I enjoyed the time I spent reading this one. It wasn't without its problems, but Ms. Andrefski's heart is definitely in the right place in regards to the message she is trying to convey through it. Rating: 4 stars / B I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
I couldn't be more happier that I was afforded the opportunity to read an eARC of The Society via NetGalley & Entangled Teen as this was not only a wonderful read but this book also touched on the very real issue of bullying. Sam had always lead a happy life full of friends and a loving family until her father was sent to prison. Once that happened her mother abandoned her at her aunt Lor's house and her best friend dropped her like white on rice. That would have been simple to get used to but her former best friend became her biggest tormentor at the private school they both attended. Now, she isn't just a misfit but also fair game to be bullied. The other constant in her life is Jeremy until he discovers that Sam is preparing to get revenge on those who hate her and so then the story really kicks into high gear. The author quickly ensnares you in the story line which is well written and fast paced and the characters are life like. I applaud how the author gives the reader the opportunity to live through Sam's character as you get to experience the bullying and see it through this young girl's life. I highly recommend this read as you will experience a varying range of emotions. This is definitely a five star read.
The Society by Jodie Andrefski...This was a good read, the author does a great job with the characters...very believable. Sam is being bullied by Jessica, Sam does get annoying at times, but does deserve it. If you are looking for a good YA book to read them this is it. I received a complimentary book from publisher via NetGalley for an honest review.